A Wearside pit-pop band will be performing at a fundraising concert to save a former miners’ hall.
Hetton-based DENNIS, who’ve coined the phrase ‘pit-pop’ with their unique blend of colliery and folk music, will be performing at Redhills, in Flass Street, Durham City, as part of a £5million project to renovate the historic site.
Also lined up to perform at Saturday night’s gig are the award-winning Houghton Area Youth Brass Band who’ll also be helping to raise funds to ensure the hall’s future as a centre of education, heritage and culture.
Earlier this month The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) marked the start of its 150th year by launching the campaign to secure the future of its historic home through donations and funding bids and Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry is among those to throw their weight behind The Redhills Appeal by becoming its first patron.
David Smith from DENNIS says the band, who’ve played stages across the country including Glastonbury Festival, are passionate about helping to save a part of the region’s rich mining heritage.
He said: “For more than a century Redhills, as home of the Durham Miners Association, founded many of the new welfare halls that became centres of community life. Brass bands, choirs, and drama groups formed, the talents and potential of the people began to be realised and a unique culture flourished. At the heart of all of this stood Redhills.
“As a local pit-pop folk band, DENNIS are built on community spirit and a brass band heritage. We are proud to be given the opportunity to contribute to such a great fundraising cause; to make Redhills again a place where people are inspired and are provided a place and platform to explore and express their talents.
“The dedicated team within Redhills have impressive plans for the building and its fundraising bids, to ensure the future of the miners’ hall as a vital centre of education, heritage, and culture, providing a much-needed centre for performance, practice and learning for the city of Durham and surrounding areas.”
As well as extensive restoration, the plans include a new building which would provide modern facilities and unlock the full potential of the hall.
The success of the appeal will enable Redhills to operate sustainably, hosting concerts, conferences, film screenings, educational activities, and serving as a hub for the community.
The Pitman’s Parliament within Redhills has been granted status as one of Historic England’s Top Ten places in the nation’s history of Power, Protest and Progress, and is recognised as irreplaceable.